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Local Content: NCC Plans Fresh Guidelines, Creation of New Licences

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced plans to introduce fresh guidelines and possibly new licences to ensure robust development of local content within the telecoms sector.

This intention was disclosed by the Executive Vice- Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta while delivering his speech at the maiden Policy Implementation Assistance Forum ( PIAFo).

He said inter alia “the industry should expect new Guidelines and Regulations bothering on indigenous content”.

To underline the importance of the move, he recalled President Buhari’s recent presentation on the subject matter.

“His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, recently presented the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecom Sector.

“The Policy (a.k.a NPPIC) seeks to accelerate the pace of indigenous digital capacity development and thereby enhance national competitiveness and prosperity for indigenous/local players in Nigeria.

“In the Policy document, there are clearly defined objectives identified for each focus area with expected significant impact that a concerted implementation would have on the sector and the national economy.

He listed some of the efforts made by the Commission towards implementing Executive Orders 003 and 005 as well as the recent Presidential presentation.

“In addition, the Commission has developed an action plan to help guide the implementation of the Policy. To this effect, the Commission has articulated several targets and high impact interventions, which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based to address the major policy areas. The focus policy areas are Manufacturing, Software Development, Compliance Monitoring, Licensing, Funding, People, and Research & Development for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

At this point, Danbatta unveiled the Commission’s roadmap for implementation of the Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecom Sector.

“As required by the Policy, the Commission has established the Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS).

“This Office is saddled with the responsibility of implementation of the NPPIC as well as the Executive Orders 003 and 005. Relevant portions of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 as well as the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) are also under the purview of this new office called NODITS.

“With the constitution of the NODITS, the industry should expect new Guidelines and Regulations bothering on indigenous content, local manufacturing of telecom equipment, outsourcing of services, construction and lease of telecoms ducts, succession planning in the telecoms sector, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, etc. as the need arises.

“The Commission has already constituted a standing licensing review committee that is currently examining all its licenses in an effort not only of modernizing it to reflect the current realities of technology and development but also to consolidate, bundle or un-bundle individual licenses or even create new licenses.

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